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The Daily Rojiblanco: September 14, 2017

Correa considered Atleti exit, and has Cerezo put the kibosh on Costa deal?

Liverpool FC v Atletico Madrid - Audi Cup 2017 Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid striker Angel Correa revealed that he has thought often of leaving in pursuit of regular starting minutes. Despite making 87 appearances for the club since 2014, Correa has frequently been deployed as a substitute by Diego Simeone. It is a role that he has played well, notching 18 goals in limited minutes, but you can understand a player’s desire to crack the starting line-up with increased frequency.

Thankfully, Correa decided to stick it out in Madrid, and he has already helped the team turn a result around in this young season. His goal against Girona in the opener was a catalyst in Atleti’s come-from-behind draw.

With Antoine Griezmann looking likely to depart next summer and the as yet unresolved situation with transfer target Diego Costa, Correa has a huge opportunity to prove his worth and stake out a starting place.

  • Cerezo shoots down Costa deal...

Despite persistent reports of “breakthroughs” in the British tabloids, comments from Atlético president Enrique Cerezo seem to put an end to the speculation about the future of Costa.

“What I do understand is that Costa is a Chelsea player and until January, there is time to talk to his club and with anybody else.

“We will not do anything until January.”

These comments are fairly clear cut, and frankly welcome. The Costa situation has been like a circus side show for months with little or no concrete progress in that time. Maybe we can put this one to bed at least until January and focus fully on the season ahead. It looks increasingly unlikely that Costa will play any minutes for Chelsea between now and January, so who knows what kind of shape he’ll be in.

  • ...but Cadena SER say it’s very close!

So get this — during Cerezo and Saúl Ñíguez’s appearance on “El Larguero” yesterday, SER’s Manu Carreño reported that Costa’s return to Atlético will materialize in the next 10-15 days (where have I heard that before?) and that he will sign for three-and-a-half years. Carreño says Atleti will pay Chelsea €45 million plus up to €10 million in bonuses to get their man. He reported this DURING THE SHOW!

Again: who knows???

  • Saúl gives an interview at the Wanda Metropolitano

SER produced a special edition of its “El Larguero” program at A Stadium Called Wanda on Wednesday, as Atlético are set to train there for the first time on Thursday. Saúl was there and spoke about the new stadium — he’s dreamt about scoring the goal there — and answered the obligatory question asked of seemingly every Atlético player: “would you ever play for Real Madrid?”

“I don’t want them and they wouldn’t want me.” How can you not love this guy?

Also, Cerezo confirmed that this month UEFA will decide whether Estadio Wanda Metropolitano will host the 2019 Champions League final. He also confirmed the total outlay of the Wanda Metropolitano: €310 million, with Atlético responsible for €170 million of that figure. Wowzers.